Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Fun at the movies...

As a bit of nerd that did a Graphics minor in his Computer Science degree, Pixar has been held in quite high regard by myself (and many others) for their innovative and high quality work. It helps as well that they have the creative team behind the technology to showcase their abilities in the best way.

Pixar's latest animation marvel is 'Cars'. Cars is the story of a brilliant young rookie racing car named Lightning McQueen, voiced by Owen Wilson, chasing the Piston Cup championship. His arrogance and overconfidence is his problem. But when he is forced to pay for damage he caused in a country town, his attitude starts to change. I won't go into the story any more than that, because YOU have to see this movie. It probably isn't isn't as good as 'Finding Nemo' for total entertainment value but it is one very entertaining movie.

In typical Pixar fashion, they seem to have been able to get the best talent available to do the voicework. The cast includes:
  • Owen Wilson - Lightning McQeen
  • Larry the Cable Guy - Mater
  • Paul Newman - Doc Hudson
  • Cheech Mariin - Ramone
  • Tony Shalhoub - Luigi
  • George Carlin - Fillmore
  • John Ratzenberger - Mack
  • Micahel Keaton - Chick Hicks
  • Katherine Helmond - Lizzie
Add in the cameo voicework by Richard Petty, Mario Andretti, Michael Schumacher, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Jay Leno, Arnold Schwarzenegger,

And typically Pixar thing is the number of in jokes that have been put into the movie. A few that I noticed:
  • Lightning McQueen's number 95 refers to the year Toy Story was released
  • The neon lights on Flo's V8 Cafe flash in the proper firing order for a Ford V8
  • The King's crash in the final race is a near exact recreation of Richard Petty's big crash at Daytona in the late 1980s
  • One of the extra racing cars is sponsored by Apple and has the number 84. The Macintosh was released in 1984
  • A truck in the truck stop that is shown has the 'i' logo from the Incredibles
  • Tom Hanks provides a cameo voice for a 1930s Ford 'Woody' station wagon
  • The pizza delivery truck from Toy Story is at the LA Speedway for the final race
  • There is a camper van at one of the races surrounded by pink flamingoes and a pool, possibly a nod to the short animation 'Knick Knacks'

Mater and Lightning McQeen

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